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Ethical issues faced by Muslim patients: An empirical study of Muslim and non-Muslim students’ perceptions


Gjukaj, Driton; Drewniak, Daniel; Biller-Andorno, Nikola (2018). Ethical issues faced by Muslim patients: An empirical study of Muslim and non-Muslim students’ perceptions. Clinical Ethics, 13(2):67-74.

Abstract

Background

Patients who follow a specific religion may experience specific moral conflicts when interacting with the health care system. Health care providers’ awareness of and sensitivity to such issues can be beneficial to patients and increase the quality of care they receive. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) which potential ethical issues were considered to be relevant to Muslim patients and (2) to examine if these assessments varied between Muslim non-medical, Muslim medical, and non-Muslim medical students.
Methods

An online questionnaire with n = 205 students from different universities in Zurich, Switzerland was conducted. The questionnaire contained a list of ethical issues of presumed relevance to Muslim patients, which had been compiled based on a literature search and an expert consultation.
Results

Muslim non-medical students considered 33% of the ethical issues as morally problematic to Muslim patients. In contrast, Muslim medical students regarded 19%, and non-Muslim medical students 14%, of the issues as morally problematic. All three groups identified female circumcision and abortion as problematic for Muslim patients. Muslim non-medical students additionally highlighted access to a prayer room and to a professional Muslim chaplain as important to them.
Conclusions

There are different ideas about which issues are of moral relevance to Muslim patients. Further studies investigating Muslim patients’ views and the extent to which these views matched with health care providers’ assessments of ethical issues relevant to their Muslim patients, are needed to provide a robust empirical basis for culturally sensitive, patient-oriented clinical care.

Abstract

Background

Patients who follow a specific religion may experience specific moral conflicts when interacting with the health care system. Health care providers’ awareness of and sensitivity to such issues can be beneficial to patients and increase the quality of care they receive. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) which potential ethical issues were considered to be relevant to Muslim patients and (2) to examine if these assessments varied between Muslim non-medical, Muslim medical, and non-Muslim medical students.
Methods

An online questionnaire with n = 205 students from different universities in Zurich, Switzerland was conducted. The questionnaire contained a list of ethical issues of presumed relevance to Muslim patients, which had been compiled based on a literature search and an expert consultation.
Results

Muslim non-medical students considered 33% of the ethical issues as morally problematic to Muslim patients. In contrast, Muslim medical students regarded 19%, and non-Muslim medical students 14%, of the issues as morally problematic. All three groups identified female circumcision and abortion as problematic for Muslim patients. Muslim non-medical students additionally highlighted access to a prayer room and to a professional Muslim chaplain as important to them.
Conclusions

There are different ideas about which issues are of moral relevance to Muslim patients. Further studies investigating Muslim patients’ views and the extent to which these views matched with health care providers’ assessments of ethical issues relevant to their Muslim patients, are needed to provide a robust empirical basis for culturally sensitive, patient-oriented clinical care.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Medicine (miscellaneous)
Health Sciences > Issues, Ethics and Legal Aspects
Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Language:English
Date:1 June 2018
Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 11:52
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 08:32
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1477-7509
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1477750917738112

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